Composite decking is an extremely popular choice, manufactured from a blend of wood flour and recycled materials for entertaining guests without the need for any maintenance. Specifically, the habitat+ decking range that we offer at Ruby is a dual sided design with a HDPE capped coat ensuring stability and strength throughout the structure. This composite decking is enhanced with UV stability and scratch resistance whilst also providing a seamless, smooth design because of the hidden fixings that it uses creating a bare foot friendly design. We have two colours available which include Rydal and Grizedale. This blog will provide you with an installation guide from start to finish as well as a small maintenance section that you can use to help. The great thing about this composite decking is that it’s very low maintenance meaning you can spend more time enjoying it rather than maintaining it.
Installing your Composite decking
- Mark Area Out
To begin making your composite decking structure, you need to make a base for the decking to lie and fix onto. Therefore, you need to mark out where your decking is going. This will allow you to purchase the correct amount of decking needed. Use our decking calculator now to see how much you will need!
- Prepare area
Once marked out using either some string or spray paint, it’s important to lay weed control fabric over the surface which will stop any weeds growing and poking through the decking and ruining your final design once complete.
- Building Decking Frame
Depending on your design and logistics of the build, will alter the way in which you create your frame. There are two main ways of doing this which include, laying the frame on the ground, or having a raised decking frame.
Frame on the ground
Starting with the outer frame, the joists used will need to be fixed together using screws and in line with the perimeter set out beforehand. We would recommend using a screw on the top edge of the joists and then another two screws on the sides to ensure high quality strength and durability. To keep the joists and outer frame from rotting and absorbing water, we recommend using Osmo UV protection oil. It’s a water and rot resistant oil preservative that does not flake, blister or peel.
To begin this process, you will first want to make your outer frame from the joists and attaching them together using one screw at the top edge and two from the sides. Now place your outer frame where you wish your decking to be. On the corners of the outer frame, and along the width and lengths, you will want to mark out where the posts need to go. Posts should be spaced out about 1.5m to ensure strength and durability.
Fix the posts to the outer frame on the inside of it using three or more screws per post. Now you want to start digging out the holes making sure they are about 35cm in depth and width. Move the outer frame back into position with the posts in place and check the level of the structure using a spirit level. The posts can then be concreted in place and left for 48 hours or more if required.
- Fitting the middle joists
The joists are the long bits of timber that will sit between the outer structure running perpendicular to the decking, providing the strength for the complete structure. These will need to be spaced out at about 400mm between each one. Using joist hangers and screws, fit them in place making sure they are level. If the decking area is quite large, we would recommend using noggins which add extra strength and are positioned perpendicular to the inner joists.
- Installing your first decking board
Starting with the edge closest to the exterior wall of your home or building, fix a starter clip onto the decking joist with a screw, and then fix the first board by tilting it under the lip of the starter clip.
- Installing the rest of the boards
On every joist, position a hidden fixing clip onto the groove of the first board and screw into position without tightening. The next board can then be fitted into place by ensuring the hidden clip is placed in the boards groove. This will create the expansion gap needed between each board. You can now tighten the hidden fixing clips which will secure the boards together and keep them in place. Make sure not to overtighten them.
- Repeating step 6
The previous step can now be repeated for every other board being fitted across the decking frame.
- Where two end boards meet together, add a noggin underneath the gap and add a hidden fixing clip to put the boards in place. An expansion board needs to be created. See table below for sizing of gap.
If you have Habitat+ Skirt trim to finish your decking structure off, you can install it in three easy steps.
- Drilling Pilot Holes
At both ends of every joist, two pilot holes should be drilled leaving a gap of at least 50mm from both the beginning and end of the trim boards.
- Fitting Skirt Trim
Place the trim over the edges of the decking boards so that they are hidden and only the trim can be seen from the side. Leave a 50mm gap between the bottom of the trim and ground to aid air circulation and flow.
- Fixing Skirt Trim
Using a colour matching screw for the boards, fix each screw into the existing pilot holes
Maintaining your Composite Decking
The wonderful thing about composite decking is that It looks after itself because of the UV stability and water-resistant designs it has. It’s a decking material that does not scratch or peel and therefore completely pet and child friendly. The only thing we would say to help maintain it and keep the area looking immaculate is by giving it a brush when needed to remove leaf’s and bits of debris that may have accumulated on it over time.
We hope our installation guide has really helped you to build and create a garden design that you can be proud of. Our composite decking is of great quality and is built to last. Please check out any related products that you may need when coming to fit your decking and help ease the pressure and stress. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to contact our sales team on 01409231763 and they will be happy to help.